New England Soccer Today

Joseph and Reis Reach Milestones

As the only two remaining members from the old Revolution teams of glory days of yesteryear, veterans Shalrie Joseph and Matt Reis are New England lifers, and so it made yesterday’s 1-0 shutout win over Portland that much sweeter when both players reached career milestones as the steady duo played a major part in the Revs’ big win.

Joseph, at 33, has been the Revs’ anchor in the center of the field since practically the turn of the century and yesterday afternoon completed a triumvirate of club longevity records, passing first-year coach and longtime teammate Jay Heaps’ career minutes mark.

The Revs’ talismanic captain was forced into an emergency start out of position at center back, but proved a major catalyst in the shutout.

In the 54th minute, Joseph passed the team’s former stalwart left back Heaps (21,619), finishing the night with a total of 21,656 minutes.

“I read it the other day on Twitter, somebody sent that message to me on Twitter and I was kind of surprised,” said Joseph, who is still far away from the twilight of his career. “I look forward to playing a lot more minutes and hopefully setting standards for Revolution minutes.”

Joseph is also the club’s career leader in starts (242) and games played (246), making arguably the greatest player in franchise history indisputably the most prolific field player to ever don the Revs’ kit.

Both Joseph and Reis are 10-year team veterans and so it was fitting that the indomitable Revolution goalkeeper would reach a major milestone on the same day, registering his 1,000th career save.

“It just means I’ve been playing for a long time and I’ve faced a lot of shots,” Reis said, sidestepping any self-adulation. “It’s nice to have the longevity and be able to play and keep making saves.”

With a sure-handed 85th minute stop on a screamer from the Timbers’ Franck Songo’o, Reis became just the sixth keeper in MLS history to reach quadruple-digit saves, joining the likes of Dallas goalie Kevin Hartman, Vancouver’s Joe Cannon and Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando.

Reis faced 13 shots on the game, but only three on target. He turned 26th minute try by last year’s 2nd overall pick, Darlington Nagbe, as well as another powerful volley from Songo’o in the 69th.

“He’s got a lot of quality on the ball as you’ve seen,” Portland coach John Spencer said of Songo’o. “He can strike a great ball, and Matt Reis pulls off a wonder save. But as they say, the only stat that counts… is that they put one in the back of the net and we never did.”

With this year’s crop of personnel looking heavy on midfielders, yesterday’s shutout was a testament to just how important the sturdy consistency of Joseph and Reis is to New England’s success.

“He and A.J. (Soares) had a good partnership and to be honest, we were hoping to have (new signing) Flo Lechner start there, so Shalrie was playing a lot of midfield leading into the week,” said Heaps, who was also absent Darrius Barnes, Stephen McCarthy and John Lozano.

“I had to pull him aside yesterday when Flo needed some additional testing,” Heaps said. “Shalrie had to be reactive and be the captain that he is. And I tell you right now, he was spot on all night. I don’t think he took a bad spot and he was able to lead us from there.”

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